Acts 26 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Paul Defends Himself
26 Agrippa said to Paul, “You may now speak for yourself.”
Then Paul ·raised [stretched out] his hand and began to defend himself. 2 He said, “King Agrippa, I am very ·blessed [or fortunate] to stand before you and will ·answer [L defend myself against] all the charges the Jews make against me. 3 ·You know so much [You especially know; or I am especially blessed because you know] about all the customs and the ·things they argue about [controversies of the Jews], so ·please [I urge/beg you to] listen to me patiently.
4 “All ·my people [L the Jews] know about my ·whole life [L manner of life from youth], how I lived from the beginning ·in my own country and later [or among my own people and] in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time. If they ·want [are willing] to, they can ·tell [testify to] you that I ·was a good [L lived as a] Pharisee. ·And the Pharisees obey the laws of my tradition more carefully than any other group [L …the strictest sect/party of our religion]. 6 Now I ·am [stand here] on trial because I hope for the promise that God made to our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers; C either the hope of the Messiah or the resurrection from the dead]. 7 This is the promise that the twelve tribes of our people hope to receive as they ·serve [or worship] God day and night. My king, ·they [L the Jews] have accused me because ·I hope for this same promise [L of this hope]! 8 Why do any of you people think it is ·impossible [unbelievable] for God to raise people from the dead?
9 “I, too, thought ·I ought [it was necessary] to do many things against [L the name of] Jesus ·from Nazareth [or the Nazarene]. 10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem. The ·leading [T chief] priests gave me the ·power [authority] to put many of ·God’s people [God’s holy people; the saints] in ·jail [prison], and when they were ·being killed [or condemned to die], I ·agreed it was a good thing [L cast my vote against them]. 11 In every synagogue, I often punished them and tried to make them ·speak against [blaspheme; curse] Jesus. I was so ·angry [enraged] against them I even went to ·other [or foreign] cities to ·find them and punish [pursue; or persecute] them.
12 “One time the ·leading [T chief] priests gave me ·permission [commission] and the ·power [authority] to go to Damascus. 13 On the ·way [road] there, at noon, [L O king,] I saw a light from heaven. It was brighter than the sun and ·flashed [shone] all around me and those who were traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language [C probably Aramaic, the common language of the people in that area; 21:40], saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? ·You are only hurting yourself by fighting me [L It is hard for you to kick against the goads; Eccl. 12:11; C a goad was a sharp instrument to herd cattle].’ 15 I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 ·Stand up [L Get up and stand on your feet]! This is why I have come [appeared] to you today: I have ·chosen [appointed] you to be my servant and my witness—you will tell people the things that you have seen and the things that I will show you. 17 I will ·keep you safe [rescue you] from your own people and also from the ·Gentiles [nations]. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the ·power [or authority] of Satan and to God. ·Then [or …so that] their sins can be forgiven, and they can have a place with those people who have been ·made holy [sanctified] by ·believing [faith] in me.’
19 “[L So; Therefore] King Agrippa, after I had this vision from heaven, I ·obeyed [L was not disobedient to] it. 20 [Indeed; or On the contrary] I began telling people that they should ·change their hearts and lives and turn to God [repent] and do ·things [works] ·to show they really had changed [L worthy of repentance]. I told this first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem, and ·in every part [all throughout the countryside] of Judea, and also to ·people everywhere [L the Gentiles; the nations]. 21 This is why the Jews ·took [seized] me and were trying to kill me in the Temple [C courts; 2:46]. 22 But God has helped me [from that day until now; L until this day], and so I stand here today, ·telling [testifying/witnessing to] all people, small and great, what I have seen. But I am saying only what the prophets and Moses [C meaning the whole OT] said would happen— 23 that the ·Christ [Messiah; C the promised king and Savior] would ·die [L suffer; 3:17; 17:3], and as the first to rise from the dead, he would ·bring [L proclaim] light to his own people [C the Jews] and to ·the Gentiles [the nations; people everywhere].”
Paul Tries to Persuade Agrippa
24 While Paul was saying these things to defend himself, Festus said loudly, “Paul, you are ·out of your mind [insane]! Too much ·study [learning] has driven you ·crazy [insane; mad]!”
25 Paul said, “Most excellent Festus, I am not crazy. My words are true and ·sensible [sober; rational]. 26 [L For] ·King Agrippa [L The king] knows about these things, and I can speak ·freely [boldly] to him. [L For] I ·know [L am convinced/persuaded] ·he has heard about all of these things [L none of these things were hidden from him], because they did not happen off in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe ·what the prophets wrote [L the prophets]? I know you believe.”
28 King Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian in such a short time? [or In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian!]”
29 Paul said, “Whether it is a short or a long time, I pray to God that not only you but every person listening to me today ·would be saved and be [L might become] like me—except for these chains I have.”
30 Then ·King Agrippa [L the king], ·Governor Festus [L the governor], Bernice, and all the people sitting with them stood up 31 and left the room. Talking to each other, they said, “This man has done nothing ·that deserves [worthy of] death or ·imprisonment [chains].” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “We could let this man go free, ·but he has [L if he had not] ·asked Caesar to hear his case [L appealed to Caesar].”
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus: the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible with access to a vast digital Bible study library. And it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.